How Wembanyama's unprecedented skillset would put Spurs' rebuild into hyperdrive

Victor Wembanyama - Levallois Met 92 v Strasbourg - LNB Pro A
Victor Wembanyama - Levallois Met 92 v Strasbourg - LNB Pro A / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages
2 of 4
Next Slide

Victor Wembanyama’s strengths

Victor Wembanyama has been described by draft analysts with many colorful, borderline-hyperbolic adjectives, with many hailing him as the best draft prospect we’ve seen since LeBron James. Others have simply called him an alien. And while that kind of language may sound dramatic, when you get to see him in person, all the names and labels begin to make sense.

Standing a reported 7-foot-4 with a roughly eight-foot wingspan, Wembanyama has physical traits we have simply never seen before. He has a distinct size advantage over one of the tallest active players in the NBA, Rudy Gobert, who was present for his exhibition games against the G-League Ignite last October. But even at that absurd height, Wembanyama moves shockingly well on the court, gliding around more like a supersized wing or guard than a big man.

His insane length has allowed him to record a league-leading 3.1 blocks per game in his team’s 33 games in the LNB Pro A League. And when he isn’t blocking shots, he’s disrupting shooters to the point that taking him one on one in the post or even shooting over him on the perimeter feels like a near-impossible task. We’ve seen Wembanyama switch onto smaller guards, singularly defend fast breaks against multiple opponents, and palm-block shots right out of the air as if he’s catching a baseball.

Wembanyama isn’t necessarily going to be someone that will successfully bang bodies with true centers that have 40-50 pounds on him, but he has the length and athleticism to meet anyone at the rim. His defensive upside is approaching All-NBA levels in every aspect, and even now, he’ll be a day-one game-changer on that end of the floor.

Wembanyama’s defensive upside is ridiculous, but his offensive potential might make him one best draft prospects of the past couple of decades. He can put the ball on the floor and create scoring opportunities for himself with an advanced handle, step-backs, spins, and fadeaways. And he has an unprecedented number of moves for his size that are virtually impossible to defend.

While Wembanyama’s shooting efficiency must improve, he makes some impossibly tough shots. Many of those looks came off the dribble, and he has shown plenty of touch around the rim, in the midrange, and at the free-throw line, indicating that better shooting will likely be on the way. But frankly, with NBA spacing, where he’ll have more opportunities to get to the basket, his shooting development may not matter much.